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Firefighting Goats (and other Livestock Too!)

By   /  September 16, 2013  /  1 Comment

From 1997 to 2003, Kathy Voth directed a research project using goats to create firebreaks to protect homes and firefighters from wildland fires. These excerpts from the federal Joint Fire Science Program’s “Fire Science Brief” on her project describes the project and its findings. Thanks to Rachel Clark for putting this brief together! Learn what goats can accomplish and why other livestock are good firefighters too!

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Goats at work in oakbrush. Photo by Sean Hammond Fire prevention in the WUI (Wildland Urban Interfac
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About the author

Publisher, Editor and Author

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.

1 Comment

  1. Jeff Rola says:


    Your story is telling. The tool of prescribed grazing for wildfire risk reduction has proven effective in dozens of anecdotal instances. BUT, the resistance to a programmatic approach to reduce fuel loads continues.

    I worked in this area from 2000 thru 2006, partly due to the groundbreaking work of you and others.

    Today, pretty much everyone is out of that business, except for a few urban weedeaters who can get “cute” value media and some high dollars for a very short period of time.

    Right now, there aren’t enough goats to keep California, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona, etc., from regularly burning up — buy there could be.

    What are your thoughts on building a consortium of producers/service providers to approach this issue from a programmatic landscape scale to get ahead of the wildfire spiral, especially in light of climate change.

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to spout. What you are doing with this newsletter is awesome.

    Jeff Rola

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